Korea has the world’s second largest economy, a population of 1.1 billion, and is home to two of the worlds most advanced manufacturing facilities.
It is also the only major country in the world where you can travel to the United States without being stopped at customs.
The nation also boasts the world as the fourth largest producer of solar energy, and the second-largest consumer of coal, which accounts for nearly 40% of its emissions.
But despite these achievements, the stock markets of many of Korea’s biggest corporations have lagged behind the rest of the economy.
This year’s boom has seen Korea’s markets climb by over 60% since January, according to data from the Korea Securities Exchange.
This has helped fuel speculation that the country’s stock market will rise further in the years ahead.
“The stock market is going to go up,” said Kim Kyung-jae, a securities analyst with the Korea Research Institute, according the Reuters news agency.
“There’s nothing to stop it.”
One big concern for investors is that while the stock price of the Korean government has climbed since the start of the year, many Koreans still don’t know the value of their investments.
As of April 1, the country had $1.9 trillion in its banking system, according data from Korea Securities.
Many experts say that this is an underestimate, and that the value in the country is higher than that.
“We are in a bubble, but we are still in a very big bubble,” said Jo Yong-woo, an economist with the Seoul-based research firm Kookmin Securities.
“I don’t think the stock is going anywhere anytime soon.”
But the fear is not only about the stock.
Many Koreans also worry that their retirement savings may not be sufficient to support the economy in the long run.
“A lot of people are afraid of being unemployed and not being able to retire,” said Yoon Seong-young, an associate professor of economics at the Seoul National University.
“They are worried about whether they can save enough money to be able to get by, whether they’ll be able pay the mortgage or have enough savings to cover their bills.”
So far, the government has done little to address the issues.
Its fiscal deficit is estimated at 2.7% of GDP.
And it has also been slow to rein in the runaway inflation that has pushed up the cost of living.
“When it comes to monetary policy, the Korean authorities have shown no interest in taking action,” said Seongju Seo-hwan, a professor of political science at Seoul National’s Moojin School of Management.
“It’s a big mystery why there’s no economic stimulus.”
But that isn’t stopping some Koreans from investing in stocks.
“Even if it’s just a small amount, people are willing to pay,” said Kang Ho-hyun, an assistant professor of management at the Mooilin University.
He said it’s a matter of preference.
“People don’t really like investing in large-cap companies.”
Kim Kyong-jong is a writer living in Seoul.